If you've noticed your weight increasing as you go through menopause, you've probably also found that it's difficult to find advice that works. As a doctor who only sees women over 40 in my weight loss clinic, dealing with weight gain at menopause is something I have a lot of experience in.
I have always been interested in how we age as one side of my family lived well into their 90's and the other side only into their 60's. This huge difference was something I was acutely aware of growing up. Was the difference simply down to genes, or was lifestyle also a factor? Of course, I wanted to live a long and healthy life. It felt like I had to pick which side to follow.
I was a Christian for 25 years. In that period, I believed some of it for some of the time. I probably never believed all of it; I don't think any Christians do, in reality, other than those who habitually blur the distinction between reality and fantasy. My faith gradually declined until in the few years leading up to my Big Surprise - the mid-life crisis...
If your child leaving creates a hole in your life, you must find new and healthy ways to fill it. The empty nest often means that you have to adjust to living alone with your partner again, which you haven't done for 18 years. It's very common for old tensions or arguments to resurface and explode, so it's important to make a real effort to connect with them again.
Living as I do at the side of a river and with many beautiful lakes in the area I have no shortage of inspiration. Painting in oils is my preferred medium although I must admit oil painting can get a bit messy at times! I often work as a motivational speaker aboard cruise ships enabling me to travel the world, but always carry a sketchpad and paints in my luggage.
"I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that" Lauren Bacall... Ms. Bacall if you run into my Grandpa up in heaven please feel free to curl up beside him and tell him the life stories etched on your beautiful face, I bet there are some great ones to share.
All too often people put care and retirement living in the 'too difficult' box and just don't think about it until they really have to. The misperception is that it's a care home or nothing. And what that can mean is people end up at crisis point, with no idea of the options open to them, and make a rushed decision under pressure.
I've been a fan of de-cluttering for most of my adult life - as I believe the less clutter you have in your life the clearer and more centred you can become. This applies to all areas of life too including
No man ever wants to contemplate the possibility of male menopause. They want to leave all of this to the female sex. Men have suffered for years thinking that they have depression and other health issues instead of the natural dwindling of their testosterone levels.
I consider myself fortunate to be "tech savvy" and realise my life is richer from my being so, and I am hopeful this will become the norm for the majority of older folk in future generations. If you are still resisting...don't. I'll guarantee your life will be enriched if you take up the challenge.... to conquer the computer!
Recently I have felt the same way when I see a mature tree being felled. I need to turn away in case I catch a grimace in its great barked face, sometimes I even think I hear a cry under the buzz of the saw.
Dementia is a huge topic, encompassing many different aspects that stray into the territories of (in no particular order) healthcare, social care, science, community, family life, wider society, therapeutic practitioners, the voluntary sector, academia, finance, pharmaceuticals and yes, politics. 'Ownership' of it is hotly contested - it is a health issue, a care issue, something that governments must lead on or something that only the individuals living with it, and their families, truly understand?
Take a quick look around your office - how many desks are occupied by women over 50? I know that the 'fairer sex' are supposedly sensitive about revealing their ages but the issue of unemployment in the over 50s is not something to be coy about.
The day you get that free pen in the charity mailer, you know it's started. The beginning of the rest of your life. The re-labelling of the individual you thought you were. Now part of the homogenous mass of 'oldies', also known as 'the over 50s'.
When it comes to my great passion, dementia, the UK's major charities - Alzheimer's Society, Alzheimer's Research UK and Dementia UK - are all becoming household names. Interestingly though, when my story of my dad's life with dementia was unknown, it was a charity hardly anyone in the dementia world talks about who showed most interest in me.
As the years whizz pass I'm more aware than ever that "I am what I eat". And one important thing I have learnt over the years is that if I eat more slowly, with time to taste and savour my food I'll probably eat less of it - which in turn helps control my waistline!